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What are the Best Tips on Knitting for Beginners?

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  • Written By: Lindsay Kahl
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2016
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Enthusiasts find knitting to be a satisfying and rewarding pastime. People of all ages can learn how to knit, and many continue the hobby for years. After a new knitter learns some of the basics, it becomes easier to build on skills and increase one’s repertoire. Some important tips on knitting for beginners are to choose appropriate supplies, practice the basics, start small, read the directions carefully and check the gauge.

To start practicing their new hobby, beginning knitters must choose some basic supplies. The only necessary items are a pair of knitting needles and a skein of yarn. Knitting needles come in a myriad of sizes and lengths for different projects, but a new knitter who is practicing only the basic stitches can choose any size of straight needle. One good tip on knitting for beginners is to start out using acrylic yarn. Acrylic yarn is inexpensive and durable, which makes it perfect for people who are just learning to knit.

After acquiring some basic supplies and choosing an instructional book or teacher, the next stage is to practice the basics. An important part of knitting for beginners is becoming comfortable with the foundational moves. New knitters should learn how to cast on, bind off and make a knit stitch. After the beginner has learned these steps, he or she should practice them repeatedly until becoming proficient.

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Most beginning knitters are quite excited to start their first projects. Though the thought of making a lovely sweater is enticing, it’s a good idea for a new knitter to start small. Scarves, dish cloths and hot pads are examples of good basic projects for beginners. Simple projects allow the new knitter to perfect her fundamental skills.

After choosing a pattern, the new knitter should read the directions carefully. Pattern directions will give the necessary needle size, yarn weight and gauge. If the knitter starts a project using the wrong needle size or yarn, it can change the size of the finished product. He or she also should determine whether the pattern involves any new skills or unknown stitches. It’s a good idea for beginning knitters to practice unknown stitches on a separate piece, rather than attempting them for the first time on a project.

Another important tip on knitting for beginners is to check the gauge before beginning a project. The gauge refers to the number of stitches per 4 inches of knitted fabric. Gauge can vary depending on needle size, yarn weight and one’s own yarn tension while knitting. Most patterns will specify what the gauge should be for a particular project, and it’s important to knit a swatch using your chosen needles and yarn to make sure they will create the correct size.

Many new knitters soon realize the satisfaction of finishing a handcrafted piece. After beginning knitters have mastered the basics, they can look forward to building their skills and moving on to more complicated projects. There are countless resources and books available to assist a new knitter on his or her journey.

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